Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Family Studies

Program or Major

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Jill Trumbell


Diversity is a major issue in the world today. This project studied the attitudes and beliefs about diversity in order to understand where they originate. It focused on family beliefs and educational experiences and whether they each play a role in one’s perspective of other races/ethnicities. The sample consisted of 100 University of New Hampshire undergraduate students recruited through Facebook as well as in-class presentations on campus. Students were asked to complete a survey online. Quantitative results revealed that neither family nor education, as measured with forced-choice questions, were predictive of acceptance of other races. Overall, students reported themselves and their families as being very accepting of other races. However, they noted there was a lack of formal education about the topic of diversity in schools and that they largely came from homogenous schools. Qualitative results reveal that students themselves highlight the importance of exposure to diverse others, family upbringing, the media, and several other key factors as important considerations in how they treat other people; this suggests a multitude of ways that people create their beliefs. Implications for college student curriculum and campus life are highlighted.